On Wednesday, February 26, 2014, the Virginia Journal of Criminal Law is pleased to host a symposium on criminal discovery in the Commonwealth of Virginia, at the University of Virginia School of Law. The Symposium topic is timely: a proposal to change the criminal discovery rules in Virginia has been proposed, and offices have adopted a range of discovery practices to supplement the baseline discovery required in the rules. The issue of failure to disclose exculpatory evidence continues to be a high-profile one nationwide, with reversals of convictions due to violations of Brady v. Maryland, and cases in which exculpatory evidence came to light only years after a conviction was reversed. At the same time, there have been real advances in best practices made possible by new approaches and technology.
Panelists will include law enforcement, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and policymakers from around the state. We will first hear about the high-profile Texas case of Michael Morton, whose conviction was reversed in 2011 based on DNA testing that identified the actual culprit, after spending nearly 25 years in prison. Morton’s lawyers uncovered discovery violations that led to a judicial inquiry, and then in 2013, to the conviction of the lead prosecutor who had originally put Morton behind bars. We will then discuss the range of discovery procedures and practices adopted by police, Commonwealth’s Attorneys, and U.S. Attorneys in Virginia. Finally, we will discuss the recent proposal under consideration to change the criminal discovery rule in the Commonwealth.
The Symposium begins at 10:00 a.m. at Caplin Pavilion at UVA Law School in
Charlottesville, Virginia. There will be a break for lunch at noon. A schedule is included in the document linked below, along with biographies of some of the presenters.
This course has been approved for 4 DCJS in-service credits and is pending approval for 5 CLE credits. Registration is free, as is the event.
You can register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/criminal-discovery-in-virginiatickets-10274221473?ref=estw
If you have any questions, please email the law journal’s Special Projects Editor Sean Mulligan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor Brandon L. Garrett at email@example.com.
Symposium Schedule and Reading Materials